Peter Minsel served during the entire Civil War, enlisting as a 19 year old on September 5, 1861. The young German immigrant, born in 1842, mustered into Company G, 38th Ohio Infantry as a private, enrolling for three years and then reenlisting. He and his fellow soldiers were sent to Kentucky to places like Wildcat and Camp Dick Robinson, then to Tennessee, before moving into Mississippi in 1862. He was at Corinth and Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, and, of course, Atlanta. He lived and saw war for about four years before mustering out at Louisville, Kentucky on July 12, 1865
|In the Official Roster of Ohio's Soldiers, his last name was spelled Mensil.|
Peter's name did appear in the draft registrations of 1863, but he was already serving at that time. He was an unmarried farmer of 21 in those records.
Peter could not be located in the 1860 or 1870 censuses; he may be recorded, but the many spellings of his name seemed to hincer his discovery. Minsel, Minzel, Mensel, Mencel, and so on... However, his bride-to-be, Anna Gehring (Gearing, Goehring) was found in 1870 living with her mother and stepfather, Julie Ann and George Buckmaster. Their farm in Noble Township was home to their children: William, 16, Laurella, 13, and Lucetta, 13 (twins?). Anna Gearing, 27, and her brother Jacob, 18, who were half siblings to the previously named children, each had a personal worth of $100. Perhaps this was an inheritance from their deceased father, Godfried, who died in 1851. Also with them was Peter Corwin, age 4, a child who was taken in.
Anna Gearing, born in Henry County on December 22, 1842, married Peter Minsel, born on August 2, 1842, on October 3, 1871. They eventually settled into a home in Highland Township. Both age 37, in 1880, they had no children, but took in the child, Peter Corwin as their ward. An article in a 1902 local paper also noted that the couple took in "Paul Davis' daughter to raise."
In December, 1892, the Defiance Democrat reported that Anna Minsel was very sick. She passed away in January, 1893.
|December 15, 1892|
Further obituaries stated that she died of cancer at the age of 50 years and 21 days. The funeral was held at her residence with these pall bearers serving -
J. W. Myers, A. C. Henry, L. D. Blue, Jacob Adams, John Lengler, Henry Shotz.
In that same year, Peter married Amanda Adeline Doenges on September 23, 1893, in Defiance, Ohio. She was the daughter of John Doenges and Adeline Kleinhen, born in Germany. She was approximately 22 years younger than Peter. The 1910 census states that he was 67 and she was 45.
In October, 1911, according to the Defiance Democrat, the Minsels lost their home to fire.
"The farm residence of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Minsel of Highland Township was destroyed by fire Wednesday morning. Mr. and Mrs. Minsel were in a corn field seven miles from home when the fire was discovered by Mrs. Norton, a neighbor. She gave the alarm by telephone and the neighbors came to the rescue and saved part of the furniture. The upper part of the house was totally destroyed, the fire evidently having been burning some time before it was discovered. The loss is $2500, covered by $1400 insurance on the house and $300 on the furniture. Mr. Minsel will rebuild at once. The Minsel home is seven miles southwest of Defiance."
Peter Minsel was active in the city, having served on the city council at least in 1885. He took part in G.A.R. programs and did his part for the organization. On August 19, 1922, he died in New Bavaria, Ohio.
|Defiance Crescent News, August 19, 1922|
|Defiance Crescent News, August 22, 1922|
Amanda Minsel lived until September 30, 1935, living a social life within the city, growing flowers and learning beekeeping, competing in the local and state fairs, and participating in several social clubs. Lottie Mansfield was her sister, and they did many things together; Lottie was the reporter on Amanda's death certificate. Amanda's funeral was held at Lottie's home at the corner of Jefferson and Fifth Streets.
|St Zion Cemetery, Putnam County, Ohio|
(This is part of a series on Civil War veterans of Defiance County who were part of the G.A.R., Bishop Post, that headquartered in the city. Formed in 1879, the post was named after a local man, Captain William Bishop, Company D, 100th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Army who died as a result of wounds received in battle. The veterans' photos are part of a composite photo of members that has survived. If you have other information or corrections to add to the soldiers' stories, please add to the comments!)